Stepping into the unknown. The photographic archive of the Institute of Archaeology, Bucharest, Romania
("Vasile Parvan" Institute of Archaeology)
Paper short abstract:
This presentation will offer a glimpse of the Institute of Archaeology from Bucharest photo archive. It actually hosts three photo archives at a single venue, bringing together many thousands of negatives and printed photos, of immense importance for the history and archaeology of Romania.
Paper long abstract:
The "Vasile Parvan" Institute of Archaeology in Bucharest hosts three photo archives at a single venue - the archive of the former National Museum of Antiquities (1858-1947), of the Institute of Archaeology (1947-1995) and of the former Institute of Thracology (1980-1998).
Altogether the archive contains about 4000 B/W glass-plate negatives, 2000 B/W rolls of film negatives, 1000 colour slides, about 1000 aerial photographs and an unknown number of inadequately stored B/W and colour prints. It has no inventory, none of the material has been scanned, much of it is in process of decay and rapid action is needed to preserve it.
The archive, sadly neglected for many years until the writer's recent appointment as Curator of Photography, is of immense importance for the history and archaeology of Romania. The images show key actors of the archaeological and historical elites in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Most, if not all the principal archaeological sites and historic monuments of Romania are represented in a vast array of excavation and restoration photographs. Many of the documented sites and objects have disappeared or been destroyed during the wars that affected Romania in the last 150 years, especially World War I and World War II.
The presentation will offer a glimpse of the nature and content of the photographs in the archive, and of the light they can throw on the use of photography in recording the archaeology of Romania over the past hundred years and more.
Archives, Art and Text